As we reflect on 2018, the Philippine-American Educational Foundation (PAEF), also known as the Fulbright Commission in the Philippines, is proud to continue its mission to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the Philippines and the United States. With the support of the governments of the Philippines and the United States, PAEF institutional partners, and other generous sponsors, almost 60 scholars – 46 Filipinos and 13 Americans – participated in the different PAEF-administered exchange programs across a range of academic disciplines in 2018.
The Philippine program continues to pride itself as the longest continuously-running Fulbright program in the world. On March 23, 2018, the Foundation celebrated the 70th anniversary of Fulbright Philippines with a gala dinner at The Peninsula Manila. Speaking at the dinner, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim said that “the remarkable success and longevity” of the Fulbright program in the Philippines is “a testament to the enduring relationship our two countries share.” U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Ambassador Jennifer Zimdahl Galt, also emphasized in her video greeting the dynamic role of education exchange in US-Philippines relations through the years.
At the event, the Foundation underscored the historical impact of the program by honoring 11 notable Fulbright alumni as the first class of Fulbright Philippines Hall of Fame inductees. The inductees included Conchita Abad, one of the Philippines’ original 1948 Fulbright Scholars, who – at 94 years old – attended the event. Also inducted were former Ambassador Jose Cuisia, former President of the Philippine Social Security System Corazon Dela Paz-Bernardo, and former Senator Rene Saguisag; National Artist award recipients Bienvenido Lumbera, Napoleon Abueva, Abdulmari Asia Imao, and Lucrecia Kasilag; and National Scientist award recipients Dr. Angel Alcala, Clare Baltazar, and Bienvenido Nebres. The Foundation also awarded plaques of appreciation to Former Senator Edgardo Angara and the family of Washington SyCip for their important contributions to the Fulbright program.
At a similar reception, hosted by the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. on March 22, former Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Cayetano affirmed via video message that “seventy years of educational and cultural exchange has greatly contributed to the strengthening and deepening of the Philippine-U.S. relationship.”
Our work to foster better understanding of American and Filipino cultures, to promote international education exchanges as a means of establishing mutually constructive and beneficial relationships between nations, and to advance a culture of service, already has an established history. But it continues to be vigorous and growing, and drawing new energy and inspiration from you, our colleagues, partners and stakeholders.
We are committed to enrich lives, to build communities, and to bridge boundaries in 2019 and beyond. Join us in this commitment by applying to our various programs and do not hesitate to visit us through our website or personally; we are ready to support you in your dreams of studying or conducting research in the United States.
Best wishes to everyone for a peaceful and prosperous new year.
Julio S. Amador III